Game 68: Toronto at Philadelphia
The postgame notes that were passed out by the local PR department after last night’s game included this little item: “B.J. Ryan has not allowed a run in eight straight appearances.” This after Ryan allowed a hit and walked two to load the bases while working with a 7-1 lead in the ninth inning.
Brandon League came in the game with one out and bailed Ryan out by striking out Jayson Werth and inducing a game-ending groundout off the bat of Pedro Feliz. True, Ryan wasn’t charged with any runs when the smoke cleared, but it was another shaky outing by the Jays’ $10 million reliever.
When Scott Downs — Ryan’s replacement as the club’s stopper — went down with a left foot injury, Gaston didn’t hesitate to name the new closer: Jason Frasor. Gaston also rattled off the names of Brandon League and Jesse Carlson as possibile fill-ins. Ryan’s name didn’t come up and his latest performance didn’t help his cause.
“It’s not so much his velocity,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said about Ryan. “He doesn’t have any control. From what I hear, he throws the ball pretty good in the bullpen. When he gets on the mound, he’s been a bit off. We could really use him, especially now with Downs gone. Hopefully he gets better.”
Over that eight-game scoreless streak, Ryan has still allowed four hits and four walks, while throwing only 56 percent of his pitches for strikes. Against the Phillies, with such a large lead, he could have pounded the strike zone with room for error. Instead, Ryan struggled and registered strikes on just six of his 17 tosses.
OTHER ITEMS: As assumed, Brett Cecil will be called up to start for the Blue Jays on Saturday against the Nationals. Cecil gives the Jays four rookies (Scott Richmond, Ricky Romero, Brad Mills) and four lefties (Romero, Mills, and Brian Tallet) in the rotation. … Caught up with Jeremy Accardo today and he talked about nearly having Tommy John last year and the frustration of waiting so long to be called up this year. Check out bluejays.com later for the story.
REMEMBER WHEN? At the July 31 trade deadline last year, the Blue Jays nearly swung a trade with the Mariners for outfielder Raul Ibanez. Headed to Seattle would’ve been Frasor and first baseman Lyle Overbay, but the M’s nixed the deal at the last minute. This year, Ibanez has hit .312 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs through 62 games for the Phils. On Thursday, he landed on the DL with a strained left groin.
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Vernon Wells, CF
4. Scott Rolen, 3B
5. Adam Lind, LF
6. Alex Rios, RF
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Raul Chavez, C
9. Brad Mills, P
Starter: LHP Mills (MLB debut)
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, LF
6. Pedro Feliz, 3B
7. John Mayberry Jr., RF
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Joe Blanton, P
Starter: RHP Blanton (4-3, 5.17)
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